GIMP Tutorial on Skin Enhancers

Written by elizabeth valentine
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GIMP Tutorial on Skin Enhancers
You can use GIMP's editing effects to digitally achieve model-perfect skin. (Ralf Nau/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

The advanced graphics editor GIMP is a free program you can use to digitally enhance photos. You can achieve a professionally-airbrushed look, eliminating the appearance of imperfections, such as wrinkles and blemishes. You can also even out discolourations of the skin. For polished results at no cost, download GIMP and begin using its editing tools to enhance the skin within your digital images.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Launch GIMP, and open the digital image you want to enhance by selecting "File" and "Open." Locate the file you want to work with, clicking on its name, then "Open." A GIMP workbook will pop-up containing your selected file.

  2. 2

    Locate the "Color Picker Tool" situated in the main toolbox. Click on the tool's icon, and click within the workbook on the first area of skin you want to enhance. For example, if you want to smooth out the forehead of your subject, click within the workbook over a forehead pixel that you desire to use as a foundational colour for the smoothed-out result. Whatever pixel you clicked on will be adopted by the "Foreground Color" box, which dictates what colour is dispersed by the airbrush tool.

  3. 3

    Select the "Airbrush Tool" in the main toolbox, and look at the settings as they appear in the bottom-half of the toolbox itself. Adjust the "Scale" or size of your brush, and click on "Brush" to select a type of brush that will give you seamless results. For example, select a "Circle Fuzzy" brush stroke in order to avoid introducing any harsh lines into your image.

  4. 4

    Place your cursor over the centre of a skin area, double-click and drag your cursor in small circles to create a smooth, airbrushed look. As needed, increase the "Rate" and "Pressure" of your tool in order to increase the visibility of your brush.

  5. 5

    Re-select the "Color Picker Tool," and click on another location of your image, such as on a cheek or on the neck, in order to "pick up" a colour match for that area of skin. Click on the "Airbrush Tool" again, adjusting the "Scale" if you need, and continue to conduct circular motions with your brush stroke. Work your way through the rest of the face, editing each section one at a time.

  6. 6

    Select "File," and "Save As" to save your perfected-skin image. Use a file extension such as ".jpg" or ".png."

Tips and warnings

  • If you make a mistake with the airbrush tool, simply select "Edit" and "Undo Airbrush" to remove your latest brush stroke.
  • Remember to save your file using a unique name as to not replace the un-airbrushed original. If you simply select "File" and "Save," the unedited version will be replaced by the airbrushed copy.

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